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Do you really think you're more successful at "shielding" your kids than your parents were with you?

How old were you the first time you saw a picture, a book, a movie or a game your parents didn't think you were old enough to see? The first time you held hands with a boy before you were old enough to date? The first time you heard the "really bad word" (assuming you didn't hear it from your own parents)?

All this talk about censoring what kids see and hear and play, and how damaging it was. At the same time, I know Porky's was on HBO before I was in Jr High, and I don't think there was anyone in 7th grade who hadn't seen it yet. There was an odd mix of half-understood things, rumor mixed with facts. People had tried alcohol but they hadn't gotten drunk. They'd flirted with sex, but hadn't actually had it. And all those parents were sure they had innocent, sheltered kids who didn't know the first thing about anything.

Why do people think they're actually accomplishing what they know damn well their parents didn't, even though they thought they did?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:46 PM on Apr. 19, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • I do NOT shield my child at all. He see and hears and watches things and I am there as a buffer and question answerer.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:49 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't plan to try to shelter my girls. I plan to give them the knowledge and skills they need to cope with whatever there is out there. That's not to say I'll be taking them to R rated movies at the age of 13, but I'm not going to lock them in their rooms, either.

    My Mom was very strict. I wasn't allowed to paint my nails any color other than pastel pink, I was the only girl in my knowledge that wasn't allowed to watch Titanic, I never got to go out with my friends, never had a slumber party, and had to leave prom 2 hours before it ended in order to make it home in time for curfew. Clearly, she thought she was sheltering me. She failed, because I knew what "69" was before I hit 2nd grade, I watched Titanic a mere 2 weeks after she had forbidden it, and had been having oral sex/sex for a full year before I hit my "allowed to date" age.

    Being a helicopter doesn't work, and it won't help your kids in the end.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 10:55 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • son watched and LOVED Titanic at 3. He also watched horror and R rated movies from about age three.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 11:01 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I was shielded completely from everything. I did not experience or do anything that normal teens would until I actually left home. I had to account for where I was every second of every day. It did keep me out of trouble. I wasn't allowed to watch anything over PG sometimes PG13. No make up. I guess the list goes on and on.

    I actually hope to find a happy medium between completely shielding my little ones from everything and the other extreme of allowing them to do whatever. I think there is a good spot and hopefully I can find it.

    Answer by Melbornj at 11:02 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I wouldn't call what I do shielding as much as making sure what they see and hear is either age appropriate or that they have the maturity level to process it correctly. As in my 6 year old is not going to watch most PG-13 movies but when he is older and more mature we can talk about it.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:04 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I haven't tried to "shield" my kids and neither did my parents. I watched rated R movies when I was 9 and 10. So do my kids. We weren't censored. I kissed my first boy at 9 (just to see what the deal was), had a boyfriend at 13 and my mom drove us to the mall for our dates (which usually involved taking our younger brothers with us). All we ever did was hold hands.
    I didn't lose my virginity until I was 19, never went to a party in my life, didn't drink until my late 20s, didn't really swear until recently (I'm 34). I've never smoked or done any drugs.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:59 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't believe in shielding my children from anything! My mother tried to keep us in a little box sheltered from just about everything. So if you think it's "good" to shield children, then no, I don't do as good a job at it because I don't do it. But personally I don't believe sheltering children from reality is a good thing.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:04 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I wasn't shielded and I don't shield my children. This is the world, like it or not.

    Answer by GomezMami2908 at 12:13 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • My parents were extremely overprotective but I did grow up in the 1950's/I had my first alcoholic drink with the relatives at Christmas when I was 20. I was a virgin until I was 23. I never tried any drugs. I was a little less protective of my kids but still they were more innocent and naive than lots of the kids their age.Their friends were from families that proteced their kids too and they didn't do drugs or have sex in high school. All in all, the kids benefitted and have been very healthy and happy and successful as a result.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 12:49 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • AND -about movies and TV...exposing kids to them or sheilding them: WHen I was a teen....movies and TV were very clean and wholesome...I remember seeing a movie with a guy when I was a high school senior (A Summer Place) and the word "virgin" was used which caused me a ton of embarassment. ENtertainment was so much less gross and explicit. NOW, its like porn and nobody blinks an eye. I was not worried about what MY kids watched because TV shows were still fun and we watched shows like "Happy Days" and "Little House in the Prairie". Is so much different nowdays.I would still be careful and only let my kids watch "G" rated shows if I had kids now.They should be kids for as long as possible.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 1:10 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

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